Florida Coastal School of Law
Assistant Professor of Professional Skills- June 2011 to present.
Adjunct and Visiting Assistant Professor- 2009 to 2011.
Courses: Pretrial Civil Litigation Drafting; Contracts I and Contracts
II; Unemployment Compensation Skills Lab; Alternative Dispute Resolution; Externship and Skills Labs Coordinator.
Service: FCSL Honor Court faculty justice; Hispanic American Law Student Association faculty advisor; FCSL Committees.
- Vision Award, 2013
- Judge Roberto Arias Award, 2012
Johnston & Hammond, Jacksonville, Florida
Partner, 1995 to 2010.
Appellate: Research, write and argue appeals of civil cases in state and federal courts. I have argued before the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida First and Fifth District Courts of Appeal and the federal Eleventh and Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; co-counseled on a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in a tobacco litigation case and the Texas Supreme Court in a commercial case.
Business/Commercial Law: Draft, negotiate, review and litigate a wide variety of contracts, including employment and professional services agreements, restrictive covenants, including non-compete, non-disclosure and non-solicitation covenants, promissory notes, purchase and sale agreements (residential and commercial real estate), private and commercial leases, vendor agreements and franchise agreements. Represent clients in claims involving breach of fiduciary duty, interference with business relationships, fraud and deceptive and unfair business practices.
Insurance: Review insurance policies (individual and commercial coverage for auto, property, casualty, employer liability, premises liability, professional malpractice, director and officer liability, short and long-term disability, long-term care) and counsel clients with respect to coverage and claims; represent clients in insurance coverage claims and litigation.
Torts: Litigation of tort claims for plaintiff and defense, including personal injury, medical malpractice, interference with business relationship, and defamation claims.
Mediation: Represent clients in the mediation of civil lawsuits and in agency mediations involving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Florida Commission on Human Relations, Jacksonville Human Rights Commission and U.S. Postal Service. As a Florida Supreme Court certified circuit civil mediator, I serve as mediator of civil cases and residential mortgage foreclosure cases.
Employment Discrimination: Counsel clients and litigate protected status discrimination claims arising under Florida and federal discrimination laws, including under the Florida Civil Rights Act and federal Title VII (sex, sexual harassment, race, national origin, religion, hostile work environment, retaliation for complaints of discrimination), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Florida Worker’s Compensation Anti-Retaliation Act, and the Florida and Federal Whistleblower Acts.
Employment Investigations: Conduct employer internal investigations of discrimination and sexual harassment claims; prepare employer position statements requested by the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Florida Commission on Human Relations in response to employee charges filed with these agencies; represent employers and employees before these agencies; was co-counsel with the EEOC in a pregnancy discrimination case that the EEOC chose to pursue on behalf of one of my clients.
Employment Policies/Procedures: Draft and review employment policies, procedures, job descriptions and handbooks; review client compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and prepare for audits by the Department of Labor with regard to pay issues.
Employee Grievances: Represent clients in the internal grievance procedures followed by public employers, such as state universities and teaching hospitals, county and city employers, the U. S. Veteran’s Administration and the U.S. Postal Service relating to employment issues.
Employment Leave and Pay issues: Represent clients in cases arising under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act (unpaid overtime, challenges to exempt status, Equal Pay Act claims), claims for unpaid wages/commissions/bonuses and in Florida Unemployment Compensation Act claims and appeals.
Taylor, Day & Rio, Jacksonville, Florida
Associate, Partner and Managing Partner, 1984-1994.
Litigation and appeals in the areas of auto, property, casualty, special investigations (arson, fraud), bad faith, employment discrimination, and insurance regulatory issues.
Contract drafting and review; commercial litigation; bankruptcy; residential real estate transactions and closings.
Law Clerk, Chambers of the Honorable John H. Moore, II, U.S. District Judge, Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, 1982-1984.
Staff Attorney, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, 1980-1982.
Performed research, analysis and legal writing in civil and criminal matters and trials that came before the U. S. District Judges and U. S. Magistrate Judges that I served as a law clerk and staff attorney.
University of Florida, J.D. with Honors, 1980; Class Rank 9th out of 64 graduates, Civil Law Clinic intern.
University of Florida, B.A. with Honors, Political Science and Secondary Education, 1978; Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society; National Merit Scholar.
Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator.
Florida Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Panel Mediator.
The Florida Bar; United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit; United States District Court, Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Florida.
Personal Jurisdiction, Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial: 11th Circuit, Chapter 4, Vol. 1, Lawyers Cooperative Pub. (1998), co-authored with Charles M. Johnston.
Jacksonville Human Rights Committee, Poverty Simulation with United Way, 2013
Employment Law Panel, Jacksonville Human Rights Ordinance, 2012.
Civil Procedure Update, Jacksonville Bar Annual Meeting, 2002.
Good faith Claims Handling and Preventing Bad Faith Claims, State Farm Insurance Company, 1993-1994.
Speaker, Retirement Ceremony for The Honorable John H. Moore, II, U.S. District Judge, Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, December 1995.
Speaker, Naturalization Ceremony presided by The Honorable Marcia Morales Howard, U. S.
District Judge, Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, September 2008.
Speaker, National Society of Colonial Dames of America, August 2009.
Jacksonville Bar Association, co-chair Human Rights Committee; past co-chair Naturalization Committee and Naturalization Ceremony moderator.
The Florida Bar Association Labor and Employment Law and Appellate Law sections.
Hispanic Bar Association of Northeast Florida, founding board member, past president; current board member and chair of mentorship program for Florida Coastal School of Law Hispanic American Law Student Association students; mentor.
Federal Bar Association, Jacksonville Chapter, board member and president (1984– 1990).
The Chester Bedell Inn of Court, Master Emeritus.
American Bar Association, member.
Community Organizations-Current service
Mission House, board of directors.
Leadership Jacksonville, alumni member (class 1994)..
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, volunteer attorney.
St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Jacksonville Beach, St. Martha’s Circle.
Recipient 2013 Mayor’s Hispanic American Advisory Committee Business Leadership Award
Community Organizations-Past service
Fourth Judicial Circuit Court Guardian Ad Litem Program, volunteer attorney.
Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office Citizens Dispute Resolution Program, volunteer mediator.
Jacksonville Bar Association Special Needs of Children, Pro Bono/Legal Aid and Holiday Project for Senior Citizens (Chair) Committees.
Foster Hope, volunteer.
Communities in Schools, volunteer
Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry, volunteer.
Languages English and Spanish (fluent).